So you've finally decided to spread your wings and hunt in another state? Public land sounds good, but maybe you don't want to fight the crowds. A guided hunt sounds good, too, but maybe you want to hunt more than a few days and be in control of your hunt. Well if this is the case, finding and securing a hunting lease sounds like the best option. While leasing a piece of property to hunt does sound a little intimidating and somewhat complicated, I can assure you it isn't.
Thousands of hunters across the country enter into lease agreements every season. Just as hunters are a diverse group, so are the properties being leased. You can find just about whatever you want across many different states. It just requires a little research and a little patience.
So how should someone go about finding a lease in another state? There are several steps involved here if one wants to get the most out of their lease.
What Do You Want Out of a Lease
What purpose will your lease serve? I ask this because they come in all shapes, sizes, and uses. Do you want a lease just for whitetail hunting or do you want to turkey hunt it as well? Is this going to be a solo lease or are you looking to have 10 hunters share it? Are you looking to practice trophy management or do you just want a place for the family to have fun?
Know what you want out of your lease. You need to establish its purpose, general location, and a budget before you start searching. Knowing these things will help you weed through all your options.
Do Your Research
Now it's time to do your homework. You know what purpose your lease needs to serve so now it's time to figure out your logistics. What area are you looking to lease in? What are the neighboring properties like? What is the price per acre in that region? Some creative Google searches can help you answer these questions. As you get a little further into your research, start making calls to the property owners and the neighbors to see if they can answer your more specific questions.
Research is vital to getting the most out of your lease. Say you are wanting to lease property in search of a Boone and Crockett class whitetail, that's not feasible in every county in the country. You have to know where to go. That's why generalized research along with specialized research is so important.
Utilize Online Lease Finders
After doing your research and determining the area you want to lease in, it's a great idea to use an online lease search platform. There are several good choices today and every single one allows you to dive into the details of each lease. You can look at maps, see trail camera pictures, and possibly previous harvests. You'll also find contact information for the property owners and you can ask all the questions that you want.
Some of the more popular platforms to use include Hunting Lease Network, Base Camp Leasing, and Hunting Locator. Even though I'm not currently looking for a lease, I still use every one of these platforms from time to time. I never know what I might find!
Inspect the Lease
Finally, after narrowing down on a particular lease, it would be wise to make a trip to inspect it. Obviously the potential for an in-person inspection depends on traveling and time logistics and it would probably be too hard to make it to Texas from New York and back in a single weekend. But seeing the lease in person is completely plausible if you are leasing in the neighboring state. While inspecting the lease is not completely required, it is encouraged. It's just nice to see what you are spending your hard-earned money on.
Now the only thing to do after you've found your ideal property is to start enjoying it. You've put in the time and effort to find your little slice of heaven, you've earned it. Whether it's waiting on a nice buck to stroll past your setup, chasing a big, gobbling tom, or just enjoying the outdoors with a loved one, I hope your new lease helps you accomplish your goals. Make the most of it and maybe it'll become part of your annual outdoor traditions!
READ MORE: HOW TO EARN PERMISSION TO HUNT PRIVATE PROPERTY
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